Types of Diabetes

There are Different Types of Diabetes

Type 1

  • Used to be called "juvenile diabetes" but no longer is because it can occur in older people, not only children and adolescents
  • The CDC estimates that nearly 1.6 million Americans have it, including about 187,000 children and adolescents
  • The body does not produce insulin
  • Is often a sudden illness
    • The body (actually, the pancreas, a gland which sits behind the stomach) stops making insulin
    • It's not really understood why
      • Sometimes it happens after trauma to the belly area
      • Other times there is no apparent injury or reason
  • The sugar immediately begins to build up in the blood and within hours or days the person is very ill
  • The blood sugars may be as high as 1,000
  • If not diagnosed and treated promptly, it can be fatal
  • People with type 1 diabetes can live very normal lives by taking insulin daily
  • Researchers are developing ways to transplant pancreas tissue to provide a regular internal source of insulin again and working with nanotechnology to insert tiny robots into the blood that can provide insulin as needed
  • Insulin has to be given daily
  • This type of diabetes occurs more commonly among children and youth, but lasts a lifetime
  • Type 1 diabetes is less common among American Indians and Alaska Natives than is Type 2

Type 2

  • Used to be called "adult onset diabetes" but now there are children and teens who also develop this type of diabetes
  • Is the most common form of diabetes for all racial groups
  • The body doesn't use insulin properly
  • In type 2 diabetes the body becomes unable to use its own insulin
    • This is called "insulin resistance"
    • It happens very gradually
    • The blood sugar may rise very slowly over months or years
    • For this reason the person doesn't usually suddenly get ill
    • They may have no symptoms for a long time
    • But even though they don't feel ill, the high blood sugar is causing complications, such as damaging the blood vessels in the heart and eyes
  • This type of diabetes is the one which most American Indians and Alaska Natives get
  • But if the IHS or your local health care clinic does a sugar (blood glucose) test when you go in for your regular check-up, the high sugar can be found early and treatment can begin before it has caused any symptoms - and most importantly, before it has caused any complications

Gestational diabetes

  • It happens to millions of women after they conceive (are pregnant)
  • It can hurt both the mother and the baby  
  • Pregnancy can trigger Type 2 diabetes
  • Once the baby is delivered, the blood sugar usually returns to normal
  • Women who have gestational diabetes have a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life
  • Gestational diabetes and newborns
  • Babies born to mothers with gestational diabetes often weigh more
  • Babies born to mothers with gestational diabetes are at greater risk of developing diabetes as they get older
  • Breastfeeding Indian babies decreases their risk of getting type 2 diabetes
  • Can you have diabetes and become pregnant?
  • Yes, you can become pregnant
  • But, your prenatal care during this and other pregnancies will have to be closely monitored by your doctor
  • You may need to see your doctor more often
  • You may need to be on insulin while you are pregnant
  • Your medicine and your blood sugar testing may also be more frequent so that both you and the baby remain healthy